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Laws related to open containers in the passenger area of a car

| Jul 12, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Many drivers in Massachusetts know that they shouldn’t drink and drive. However, not all of them realize that having an open container can affect them as well. There are some laws that relate to having an open container in the passenger area of a car. Here’s what drivers need to know about them.

What is considered an open container

Having beer or liquor in a car doesn’t automatically mean that a driver will get into legal trouble. The bottle or can needs to have a broken seal. Even if they haven’t drunk any of the contents out of it, they can still get into some sort of legal trouble and require the assistance of a criminal defense attorney.

Where the passenger area is located

The passenger area of a car doesn’t just include the seat that is right next to the driver. It also includes the seats in the back as well. Many individuals don’t know that the passenger area does also include the glove compartment if it isn’t locked.

Legal ramifications of having an open container

If an individual gets caught with an open container while they are operating a motor vehicle, they may face a wide variety of legal ramifications even if they never even drank from the container. They may have to serve time in jail time, pay a fine or complete community service. A judge will take into consideration things like the driver’s past driving record when determining what the legal ramifications are for breaking the law.

If you got caught with an open container in the passenger area of your car, you do need to seek legal counsel right away. This type of crime is serious, but an experienced attorney can offer you their assistance to help figure out what your next steps should be.